Linda stayed in her closet until morning, when at 9am her blaring alarm woke her. She had drifted off to sleep as the adrenaline and caffeine had drained from her body. She began trying to remember what had occurred on her way home, but try as she may she could remember nothing more than a mugger had tried to attack her.
Linda crawled from the closet, after placing the knife in the floor of her room. She stood and stretched her body. Being cramped up for so long in the tiny space made her muscles yearn to be stretched. She thought of her bag, as the blood returned to her long legs. When her legs felt sturdy enough, she went to check on it. Upon entering the living room, Linda quickly discovered her wallet missing from a hole in her bag. She assumed it had been ripped during the scuffle. Her book she had been reading must have fallen out as well. Linda figured since she takes the same route through the alley, and past the coffee shop she could look on her way to the office for her belongings.
Linda heads towards the shower. Once inside she quickly bathes and washes her hair. She steps from the shower onto a thick bath mat feeling a bit better, however her mind fog still has not cleared. She wraps a towel around herself and heads straight to her closet in search of clothes. Linda grabs a dark grey pair of dress pants and a light pink silk shirt. She adds charcoal heels and a tailored sweater vest. She heads back to the bathroom and quickly combs out her curly hair using her fingers, adding in product to tame her natural curl. She allows it to air dry, while she applies a bit of lip and eye color. She finishes off with a bit of mascara and a spritz of her perfume.
Looking at her watch as she picks it up from the jewelry tray, Linda realizes if she is going to stop by the coffee shop, she has to leave soon. She enters her living room, and grabs her brief case, keys, and phone. She moves into the kitchen and takes two twenty dollar bills from the coffee can which houses her secret stash of emergency money.
Linda opens the door, and steps through the threshold, out of her apartment, and begins locking all of the locks. As she turns to leave she nearly runs into a man. She looks up in his face and thinks to herself, he looks familiar. He holds a hand out to her and inside are her wallet and book from the night before.
Ludvik says, “I believe these were lost in the scuffle last night.” As his hand touched hers, part of last night’s events came rushing back. She realized he was who had fought off her attacker, and that she had met him earlier that evening.
“Thank you for returning them, and for last night. I don’t like to think of what may have happened, had you not come along.”
An Icy chill runs up Ludvik’s spine, as he recalls what he had seen upon touching Linda’s hand that first day. He knew exactly what would have been in store for Linda, had he not come along.
“He wasn’t able to open your wallet, so he shouldn’t know your address.”
Linda had not thought of that. She quickly opens her wallet and checks inside. Her cash, her license, and the emergency credit card her father had given her, before she left home for the big city, were all still tucked safely away in the pockets.
“Oh thank heavens, everything is still here, and it looks as if nothing was touched.” Linda pulled a $100 from her wallet, to thank him properly for returning her wallet and book.
Ludvik smiles and says “keep it. Thank you for the gesture, but I can’t in good conscious accept money for doing it.”
“Are you sure? I know it isn’t nearly enough for all you did, but it’s about all I have on me at the moment.”
Ludvik reaches up to Linda’s hand with his and closes his hand around hers and the money. “I mean it, keep it please.”
Linda felt a strong connection, as her skin came into contact with Ludvik’s. He smiled at her and released her hand, she then stuffed the money back in her wallet, and closed it. She slides it inside her brief case.
“And this?” Ludvik asks as he holds up Linda’s book.
“Yes, thank you again.” She takes her book from his strong cool hand, immediately checking to see if the slip of paper is still in the back.
As she thumbs through to the back, Ludvik holds a piece of white paper and asks “Looking for this?”
Linda blushes slightly, “Yes. I was kind of hoping you would still want me to call you.”
Ludvik hands the paper back to Linda. “Then call me sometime.”
Linda takes the slip of paper from his hand, opening it, and there is his neatly written name and phone number. She slides it into the back of her book, once again, and adds the book to her briefcase.” Can I at least buy you a coffee tonight?”
Ludvik smiles and says, “I will be there. What time?”
“I should be there by seven. I have to do some shopping after work, then I’ll grab a sandwich or something while I’m at the café for dinner.
“That sounds good to me, I will see you tonight.”
Linda begins moving towards the staircase saying, “Yes, see you tonight.”
Linda’s work day seemed to fly by, as she caught herself constantly thinking of the beautiful man. At lunch she grabs her wallet and book, and heads over to the mass of food trucks across the street.
Linda decides she will read for an hour while she nibbles on a something, maybe Thai today. Linda heads for the front door of her office building. On her way out she runs into one of the girls she goes out with for drinks with on occasion, Katie. Linda’s book falls to the floor along with the paper Ludvik had given to her.
As Linda goes to pick up the book, Katie says “I have it.” She bends over and picks the book up from the floor, straightens handing it to Linda. Katie bends once again, and picks up the paper. She turns the paper over and over in her hand, stating “Oh, your book mark is blank. I usually doodle on mine, or make lists.” Linda takes the paper from her hand, and there neatly written in black ink, Ludvik Vidar and the number, 555-5555.
Linda looks at her puzzled, and asks “do you not see the phone number?”
Katie looks at Linda as if she is nuts. “Are you feeling okay Linda?”
“Yes, maybe I just need something to eat, especially after last night.”
“Let’s get you something to eat then.” Katie smiles and the two cross the street together.
Linda and Katie eat lunch together. Linda tells Katie of her eventful night. She spends extra time talking about the guy she met and how he saved her from being mugged.
Katie smiles and says, “A modern day knight in shining armor, eh?”
Linda giggles at Katie’s comment.
After lunch, the two women cross the street and return to their offices. It is such a beautiful day, that Linda decides to open her window blind. She twists the knob on the window opening it. She sees a new building has been erected, and sitting staring into her office is a gargoyle. She smiles, and pushes the window open a small amount to allow a bit of fresh air in.
The Gargoyle sat on his perch watching over the inhabitants of the city. Suddenly the blind in the window by which he was perched opened. A beautiful woman stood peering out at him through the closed glass. She opens the window, and began to talk to him.
“Well, hello there.”
“Hello back at you.”
“I am going to come up with a name for you.”
“I already have a name, all you have to do is ask, and I can tell you.”
Linda stands there staring out at the gargoyle for several minutes. Never hearing a word he says. Finally she tells him, “I really should get back to work now. Good bye.”
“Good bye for now.”
©2015 ML Steele